Children all across the world start dreaming about becoming a professional athlete often just after watching their very first basketball or soccer match. Menos Hiras mentions that becoming an elite athlete is among the most rewarding, glamorous, and lucrative career that one may have. Depending on the sports they play, people can enjoy a good level of fame and money as a professional athlete. There is hardly any other career domain that provides them with such perks. Moreover, one gets to turn their favorite hobby into their profession, by choosing to become an athlete.

In order for any team or individual to thrive in athletics, they need to both physically and mentally healthy. Menos Hiras mentions that while athletes may have coaches, nutritionists, and psychologists to help in this regard, they must also put a certain level of focus on self-care. Right from dealing with the pressure associated with social media, to balancing sports, academics, family, and friends, young athletes are under more stress than ever. In the long run, it is up to the young athletes themselves to acquire guidance and knowledge from parents, nutritionists, athletic trainers, sport-specific articles, and book to develop a proper self care routine that helps them to perform at their best, and take steps to become a recognizable elite athlete.

While there are numerous benefits associated with becoming an elite athlete, one needs to put in an adequate amount of hard work to reach that position and maintain a proper self care routine. Here are a few self-care pointers for young athletes marked by Menos Hiras:

Prioritize rest: In many cases, young athletes tend to push themselves beyond their perceived limits to progress and improve their skills. But doing so can result in injuries, as well as physical, mental, and emotional burnout. Over straining never helps any person. They should, on the other hand, implement a proper rest and recovery routine that prevents them from reaching the brink of burnout and injury.  Taking rest and getting a bit of an extra sleep can go on to improving athletic performance, mood, and alertness as well.

Drink more water: It is vital for young athletes to properly hydrate themselves, to ensure proper athletic performance, and to boost their overall health and well-being. They should especially be conscious about staying hydrated while travelling or playing in hot and humid climates.

Focus on conditioning:  Young athletes can be benefited quite a bit by following an age and sports specific strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, and core strength training routine .

Make healthier food choices: For the well-being and proper development of young athletes, it is crucial that they consume balanced meals of nutrient-rich foods instead of processed foods.  The food they put inside their body has a major role to play in contributing to the energy levels and overall well-being of various athletes.

By being conscious about the pointers underlined above and following them rigorously, athletes can significantly improve their on-the-field performance.

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